Avoid Overspending This Holiday Season

posted by Chris Valentine

With holiday deals and promotions coming at you faster than Santa’s sleigh, maintain a big-picture perspective. Shoppers say supporting small or local businesses, a personalized experience and product reviews influence their holiday purchases.

As trends shift toward retailers launching holiday sales, promotions, and deals earlier, young adults are open to being persuaded to start shopping sooner. This underscores the importance of a robust omnichannel experience.

It’s a Time to Give

The holidays can be an excellent time to give and enjoy the company of friends and family. However, the holiday spirit shouldn’t get lost in the frenzy of shopping for gifts and other expenses. Read the study on how it is essential to plan and avoid the pitfalls of overspending.

Among the most common mistakes is buying impulsively without a gift recipient in mind. This can lead to cluttering homes and unnecessary debt, which takes months to pay off. To combat this problem, list expected expenses, including gifts, decor, meals, and travel, and use budgeting apps like Mint or YNAB to track spending throughout the holiday season.

Another way to cut costs is to purchase secondhand items. Not only is this cheaper than buying new things, but it also helps reduce demand and landfill waste. This is especially true for clothing, toys, and other children’s items. The savvy shopper should check out sales in advance to find the best prices for these items.

It’s a Time to Receive

With prices increasing and supply constraints on some items resulting in backorders, holiday shopping could have a more significant financial impact than usual. But savvy shoppers can limit the damage by making intelligent decisions.

For instance, consider a more streamlined approach instead of going from store to store to score the best deals. Make a list of what you must buy for each person, then shop for those items.

Another way to save is by buying secondhand or recycled gifts, which are easier on your wallet and help reduce the demand for new products. You can also participate in a gift exchange or swap event to avoid purchasing unwanted gifts and ensure the items find a good home.

Most importantly, don’t let your budgeting get in the way of enjoying a joyous holiday season. Remember that debt can be a Grinch that robs the fun from Christmas year after year. So, abide by your budget and stay on track with your credit card spending.

It’s a Time to Spend

Holiday shopping is both a fun and stressful time for many people. In addition to figuring out what gifts to buy, many have to balance that with budgeting so they don’t start the new year in debt.

It’s easy to be tempted by sales and promotions that draw you to spend more than you intended. Retailers know this and design their stores to make you want to buy more than you came in for, or they bombard your email inbox with tempting discounts and flashy deals.

If you don’t have a plan, it’s easy to spend too much and get into trouble. If you’re worried about the impact of holiday spending, consider using a savings plan or making the most of NYC’s free financial empowerment programs. It’s also wise to shop early. By avoiding last-minute shopping, you’ll have more time to compare prices and carefully consider each gift. This can lead to a more rewarding experience than being overwhelmed by the number of purchases you must make quickly.

It’s a Time to Shop

One of the biggest challenges for holiday shopping is staying within your budget. One way to do that is to keep track of purchases in a spreadsheet or an easy-to-use budgeting app, which can help avoid surprises when paying the bills.

Another approach is to prioritize a gift-buying schedule with the number of people you’re shopping for in mind. This might mean buying gifts in stages or taking advantage of free shipping promotions offered by retailers.

For some, that might mean focusing on experiences rather than goods, as academic research shows that experience-based gifts (like trips, picnics, and special outings) make for a more lasting impression. Homemade presents are also a great option and can be even more meaningful for the recipient than you’ve purchased. Plus, they’re usually cheaper than store-bought gifts. You can also save by buying items during discount days and taking advantage of rewards from credit cards.

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